This Enchilada Sauce is so delicious yet easy to make! It features bold, rich, and authentic flavors for the tastiest enchilada sauce you’ve ever tried!
Making homemade enchilada sauce can feel daunting, but not with this recipe! It’s easier to make than you think and takes less time from start to finish than running to the grocery store. Plus, it freezes beautifully, so you can make an extra batch or two to freeze!
The best part is that it’s completely customizable to fit the spiciness level you prefer, and this sauce works in so many recipes! Use it to make Chicken Enchiladas or even Beef Enchiladas, or how about my famous Chili’s-Style Chicken Enchilada Soup!
🥘 INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED
You only need some pantry-staple ingredients to make this sauce at home. There is no chopping onions or mincing garlic.
You can scroll down to the recipe card for further details and instructions.
Chili powder: This is where all the flavor comes from, so pick a good brand of chili powder to use in this recipe. Remember, though, that this is American-style chili powder and not Indian chili powder. The one we’re using has chili powder plus other spices such as cumin, garlic powder, and oregano. Indian chili powder is entirely chili, so be careful when choosing your chili powder.
Spices: We’ll also use other delicious spices for an authentic flavor, such as onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and cumin.
Tomato paste: To get that rich flavor that enchilada sauce is known for, we’ll use some tomato paste in this recipe. It will also give the sauce a beautiful color.
All-purpose flour: We’ll be making a roux to thicken this sauce, a combination of butter and flour, so you’ll need all-purpose flour.
Chicken broth: Add chicken broth to this recipe for a delicious, rich flavor. You could substitute it with vegetable broth, but the flavor will change substantially.
🔪 HOW TO MAKE
The full instructions are in the recipe card below, but let's look at the main steps to making this soup.
Start by adding butter and olive oil to a pan, and then add flour when the butter melts. Cook the flour until it turns golden.
Turn the heat to low and add all the spices (including chili powder) and tomato paste.
Pour chicken broth into the pan while whisking and stirring continuously. Let it all simmer for 15 minutes.
Your delicious Enchilada Sauce is ready! Use it immediately or store it in a jar for up to 6 days in the fridge.
💭 COOKING TIPS
- Ensure that the chili powder used in the recipe is American-style, not Indian chili powder.
- Taste your chili powder a little before using it in this recipe. You can add less than what's mentioned in the recipe if it's too spicy.
- Experiment with different chili powder brands to find the one with the right flavor, as the taste tends to vary significantly. Pick a good quality brand for this recipe.
- Cook the flour till it starts turning golden and not brown. If you undercook it, the sauce will taste like raw flour.
- Add cold chicken broth in one go, cold liquid won't form lumps in the sauce but stir for a minute after pouring.
📖 DELICIOUS VARIATIONS
This enchilada sauce tastes perfect as it is, but if you’re interested in customizing it, here are some ideas:
Make it spicier: You can easily make this sauce by adding some cayenne pepper. Be careful, though, since cayenne pepper is spicy!
Make it vegan: If you’re looking for a vegan version, skip the butter and use vegetable broth instead. But a fair warning, it will taste different but still really tasty!
Make it gluten-free: You can also use gluten-free flour in this recipe instead of AP flour for a gluten-free version.
💬 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This sauce is for red enchilada sauce, a mix of delicious spices (especially chili sauce) and tomato paste for the tastiest Mexican-style sauce ever. It’s packed with flavor and makes every dish taste better!
Both these sauces have similar uses, but their base ingredients are different. This recipe is for the classic, authentic red enchilada sauce that calls for chili powder and tomato paste for that robust flavor. Green enchilada sauce, on the other hand, uses green chilis, tomatillos, and sometimes even jalapenos for that green color. It can also be spicier than red enchilada sauce.
There are a ton of different uses for this delicious homemade enchilada sauce! First of all, you can use it to make some delicious chicken or beef enchiladas! It’s also absolutely perfect for chicken enchilada soup. Use it in casseroles for an authentic flavor. You can add it to burritos and tacos or have it with some nachos!
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🌡️ STORING AND REHEATING
Fridge: This sauce stores easily in the fridge for up to 6 days! Make sure to let it cool down before placing it in an airtight jar and popping it in the fridge.
Freezer: You can also freeze this sauce for up to 3 months! All you need to do is make sure you’re using a freezer-safe jar to store it.
Reheat: Let the sauce thaw overnight in the fridge, and then reheat it on the stovetop by adding a little water or chicken stock to it for the perfect consistency.
Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ tablespoon chili powder Read the notes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 ½ cup chicken stock low sodium
- In a pan, add the butter and the olive oil, when the butter melts add the flour.
- Cook the flour until it’s golden (not brown). This step is important, or the enchilada sauce will taste like raw flour.
- Turn the heat to low and add the paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, and tomato paste. Stir for a few seconds.
- While whisking or stirring add the chicken stock. Keep stirring on medium low for two minutes, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes, this will allow the flavors to come together and the sauce will thicken.
- Remove the sauce from the stove and either use it immediately or place it in a jar, when it cools you can store it in the fridge for up to 6 days. The sauce will get thick, so to reheat it add a little water or chicken stock and heat on stove top.
- The chili powder mentioned in the ingredients is not Indian red chili powder. The chili powder mentioned in the recipe includes cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and other spices.
- The Indian chili powder is plain red chili dried and ground. However, I once didn’t have the Mexican chili powder and used the Indian type of red chili powder instead, and the soup was amazing still.